Writing an Article from a Press Release: What to Look for and Ignore

Depending on your time, editorial expectations, and compensation, even a brief chat with one of the key individuals can unearth this information. This can make the difference between your article simply restating what’s in the release and what the news really is. The story that your readers want isn’t necessarily the story the release is telling.

Even if you do generate an article that, while based on the original press release, goes far and above that release in accurate, useful information, it’s entirely possible neither your editor nor your readers will notice. Or they may notice but not care. But your source and PR folks in the loop will notice. You may come away with ideas for other stories you can pitch and sell, as well as good contacts for when you’re writing other stories in this area.

Approach a press release the way you would approach food you’re about to buy: examine it carefully to make sure it’s all there, and sniff it to make sure it’s good. Be prepared to treat it as the starting point rather than simply a puzzle to reorganize-if time and price allow you that luxury.

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